John X Merriman, Rustenberg

John X Merriman, Rustenberg

15.00

Blackcurrant and dark fruits complemented with cigar tobacco and sour cherry notes.

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Vintage - 2016

Country - South Africa

Region - Stellenbosch

Grape Varieties - 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 5% Malbec, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc.

Alcohol by volume - 14.5%

Bottle - 75cl

Named after a former owner of Rustenberg, John Xavier Merriman, who bought the farm in 1892 in sympathy with farmers suffering from the phylloxera crisis.

The John X Merriman is a powerful wine that rewards aging. In its youth the wine is worth decanting and expresses cassis, blackcurrant and dark fruits complemented with cigar tobacco and sour cherry notes. As the wine ages and its fine grained tannins soften, a softer more savoury palate develops revealing wonderful drinkability and tertiary complexity. A blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 5% Malbec, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc.

Following a warm start to the year, the winter of 2015 was dry but cold enough to allow the estate’s vineyards to properly rest. A very warm, dry spring and summer resulted in an early bud-burst and record high temperatures in December and January brought forward the need to irrigate. As in 2015, the vintage started very early. In the middle of January Rustenberg was engulfed in fire as the entire Simonsberg mountain burnt, sadly destroying 5 hectares of the estate’s vineyards. Generally very low yields of concentrated fruit make the wines of the 2016 vintage upfront and opulent.

Grapes were hand-picked and crushed and de-stemmed on arriving at the winery. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks with regular pump overs and an extended maceration of up to seven days. After primary fermentation the wine was transferred to oak barriques (35% new French; 65% second- and third-fill) for 20 months’ maturation.